NASS: Low Vitamin D Common in Spinal Surgery Patients

With vitamin D inadequacy and deficiency in 57 and 27 percent of patients, respectively

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing spine surgery have high rates of vitamin D inadequacy (<30 ng/mL) and deficiency (<20 ng/mL), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society, held from Nov. 2 to 5 in Chicago.

Geoffrey E. Stoker, from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues examined preoperative vitamin D levels in 313 patients undergoing spine surgery to determine rates of inadequacy and deficiency. A total of 260 patients with spondylosis, 99 with spinal deformity, and 73 revision cases were selected between January 2010 and March 2011. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured, and risk factors for vitamin D deficiency were evaluated.

The investigators found that the rate of vitamin D inadequacy was 57 percent, and the rate of deficiency was 27 percent. The vitamin D-deficient subset had significantly higher rates of smoking, dark skin tone, and lower age, with no gender differences. Significant predictors of deficiency on multivariate analysis included increasing body mass index and Neck and Oswestry Disability Index scores, and lack of prior vitamin D and/or supplementation with multivitamins. Compared with patients without vitamin supplementation, those with prior supplementation were significantly older, and more likely to be at least 50 years of age.

"This cross-sectional investigation exposed an alarming prevalence of preoperative vitamin D abnormality in adults undergoing spinal fusion," the authors write.

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